I notice this a lot in the NBA, where after a team scores a field goal, the players of that team that are positioned near or directly under the basket for an offensive rebound avoid touching the ball. They often avoid even making contact with the ball as they try to make their way back to halfcourt for the next possession.

Is there a rule violation about touching the ball after your team makes a field goal?

2 Answers 2


Yes, there is such a rule, and the players want to avoid any possible hint of breaching it.

Section II. Delay of Game

a. A delay-of-game shall be called for:

(1) Preventing the ball from being promptly put into play.

(2) Interfering with the ball after a successful field goal or free throw.


  • I'd also add that initially, the player receives a warning for delay of game before a technical foul is given if it happens again.
    – Andrei
    Jul 11, 2018 at 16:03
  • @Andrei - team receives warning not player.
    – Coach-D
    Nov 6, 2018 at 20:41

Delay of game is called when an offensive player intentionally touches the ball after it has been scored.

This rule was implemented because when the offense touches the ball, it's very easy for them to direct it away from the referee or from the opposing team. This can prevent the opposing team from inbounding the ball for a fraction of a second or more. And even the smallest time delay can prevent the opposing team from leading to a transition offense.

Because teams began touching the ball to prevent fast breaks, while forcing more half court sets, it became the standard that they cannot touch the ball after it has been scored.

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